Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Concentration in History
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Program Description
The MALS degree typically appeals to people with broad interests in the humanities and social sciences because the program provides an opportunity for advanced study that can be tailored to meet individual interests and needs.

The 36-credit MALS program in History, which can be completed on a part-time basis through evening study, or on a full-time basis through a combination of evening and day study, is made up of core requirements in Liberal Studies, the History concentration, and electives.

The Core Curriculum
Core requirements consist of four interdisciplinary seminars drawn from five areas: Religion, Culture and Value; Humanities; Social Sciences; Natural Sciences and Fine Arts. The specific topics of these seminars change regularly, but all share the common thread of viewing the human experience through both classical and contemporary perspectives. Each seminar involves significant reading, writing, and reflection.

History Concentration
While the core seminars challenge students to think beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, the concentration encourages them to apply this conceptual and methodological breadth to the specific field of History. Content of courses within the concentration are typically interdisciplinary, and students are afforded a great deal of flexibility in constructing their studies in History.

A Capstone Experience
No thesis is required for completion of the MALS in history, however, research papers are a regular part of graduate coursework in the program. MALS students are encouraged to culminate their studies with a capstone experience, a research project, a creative or artistic work, a service-learning endeavor, or even a travel/study experience. Regarding this last option, MALS students may earn academic credit by taking advantage of 4-6 week stints of study at one of VU's overseas centers in Cambridge, England, or Reutlingen, Germany, Puebla, Mexico, or Hangzhou, China.


MALS Core Requirements
12 credits
LS 650 Seminar in Religion, Culture, and Value
3 cr
Select three from the following:
LS 610 Seminar in the Humanities
3 cr
LS 620 Seminar in the Social Sciences
3 cr
LS 630 Seminar in the Natural Sciences
3 cr
LS 640 Seminar in the Fine Arts
3 cr
Concentration Requirements
15 credits
The concentration consists of five courses drawn from graduate coursework in history or related areas. Study within the concentration should comprise a coherent course of study that ensures significant in-depth exploration of history. Six credits must be taken at the 600-level.
9 credits
Six credits of electives are selected from 600-level LS courses.  The remaining three credits may be selected from any department as long as the student meets the course prerequisites.  The study/travel option may also be used as elective credit toward the MALS degree.

What Can You Expect?
Graduate study at VU requires motivation, dedication, and reflection. Master teachers ensure that courses are challenging yet rewarding. Class sizes are small, and both peer and faculty interactions contribute a critical component to the learning experience. MALS students become acquainted with one another through the core seminars; they become acquainted with faculty in their discipline through coursework in their selected concentration. Periodically, the Graduate School assembles students in the MALS program for informational and social events.

Criteria for Admission
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, which include:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited University;
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 550 (paper version), 230 (computer-based), or Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT) score of at least 80; minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6; CET score of 6, or an INTERLINK Language Center Level 5, or the equivalent for non-native English speakers;
  • An overall grade point average of at least a 3.00.

As part of the application process, students must provide:

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application;
  • Official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework.  If you have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from Valparaiso University, you are not required to submit an official transcript from Valparaiso University;
  • Two letters of reference;
  • A reflective essay detailing your reasons for pursuing graduate study;
  • Application Fee: $30 for U.S. citizens, $50 for International Students.

The MALS program features a continuous admission process, so application materials may be submitted at any time. Once received, the admission decision normally takes 2-3 weeks.

Financial Considerations
Students may be surprised to discover the affordable tuition rate at Valparaiso University. Tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year is $560 per credit hour, highly competitive for a private institution of recognized national quality. Full-time graduate students pay a $183 general fee each fall and spring semester. Part-time graduate students pay a $100 general fee each fall and spring semester. Financial aid is available through direct and indirect student loans for students taking 6 credits or more during fall and spring semesters. Because most course offerings are scheduled for the evening, many students hold part- or full-time employment during their study.

For more information about the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies History program
To learn more about the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies History program, visit their department website at

Interested students should request an information packet from the Office of the Graduate School through our website or by e-mailing

Click here to apply online!